Lately, preparing my kids for the home schooling day has included preparing them for evangelizing their faith
by reminding them what good Catholic company they’ve been in for centuries.
I’ve been reading to them at the breakfast table from The American Catholic Almanac by Brian Burch and Emily Stimpson.
Few people these days would likely acknowledge that the Catholic Church is responsible for the evangelization of nearly the entire world.
Sadly, more people recognize anti-Catholicism as one of the last acceptable prejudices.
Maybe its time to learn our story and embrace our spiritual heritage.
Maybe it’s time to encourage each other to live our faith richly.
I think the authors of The American Catholic Almanac, Brian Burch and Emily Stimpson had this in mind.
Catholic hearts, filled with love for Jesus Christ, have been involved in serving others in all aspects of life including the spread of modern medicine, education, the
preservation of Holy Scripture, and the promotion of human rights.
The American Catholic Almanac is filled with stories of Catholics throughout history who courageously held to their beliefs and formed our country.
Each day tells a little known tale from that particular date, that with some reflection can be applied to our present time.
April 10th, for example reminds us of a conversation being had between the Duke of Norfolk and St Thomas More in the movie A Man For All Seasons.
“Norfolk: Oh confound all this. I’m not a scholar.
I don’t know whether the marriage was lawful or not but dammit, Thomas, look at these names!
Why can’t you do as I did and come with us,
More craftily replies: And when we die,
and you are sent to heaven for doing your conscience
and I am sent to hell for not doing mine,
will you come with me,
What wonderful discussion ensued with my teens as we considered the way the world pressures us to betray our consciences,
so we can feel the fellowship of others.
Our faith and the real love that springs from it is not about feeling good and “fitting in”.
Hanging on a cross did not feel good. A criminal’s death was the antithesis of “fitting in”.
The American Catholic Almanac tales remind us to ask for the mind and heart of a martyr
and allow our fiery love for Jesus Christ to motivate all we do.
So thank you Brian and Emily,
for sharing your research on our great forefathers in faith.
I envision a whole new volume of saint books on the shelves of future Catholic home schoolers springing from the short stories told The American Catholic Almanac.
And we’ll be reminded that our narrative of Catholic heroes
can be celebrated by our children.